A Woodstock North High School senior will be the first in Woodstock School District 200 history to graduate with the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy in German.
While dozens of students from District 200 graduate each year with seals of biliteracy in Spanish because of the district’s dual language program, Julian Anguiano will graduate with seals of biliteracy in both Spanish and German, according to a news release.
Anguiano grew up speaking Spanish and English in his home and has traveled extensively with his mother, Gabi Ordonez, a bilingual assistant with District 200 who was born in Ecuador, according to the release.
Anguiano has been a student in the dual language program from kindergarten through Mary Endres, Northwood and Woodstock North, according to the release. During his time at Northwood, he took a deeper interest in exploring other languages during his world languages classes in middle school.
“At the time, I wanted to be a particle physicist when I grew up, and a lot of particle physics research happens in Switzerland and German-speaking countries,” Anguiano said in the release.
During his sophomore year, Julian participated in a German exchange student program and spent a month attending high school in Schongau, Germany, which is south of Munich. On that trip, he also was able to visit Iceland and Austria.
Anguiano credited the exchange program and his Woodstock North German teacher Anthony Keisling with his language proficiency, saying, “I definitely could not have done this without him – great roots and foundation.”
Keisling said Julian’s success in German is the result of a combination of qualities he possesses as a student and learner.
“He is not only incredibly gifted with language acquisition abilities; he has a passion and drive both in and especially outside the classroom. He fostered many connections he made during our German exchange and that more than anything else really helped him grow,” Keisling said in the release.
Anguiano, who also is an Illinois State Scholar, said he remains undecided about which university he’ll attend next year having applied at schools in Germany and the U.S., but he plans to study biochemistry, according to the release.